The GrowMeUp project is aimed at providing affordable robotic technology to one-fifth of Europe’s population, the elderly, according to Cordis. The goal is to connect older individuals with a virtual care network to provide personal support and ensure they are safe and healthy. Named GrowMu, the robot continues to develop intellectually as it provides support.
The company developed algorithms so GrowMu can adapt to the user’s behavior changes and capture their daily routine. It can detect situations that need correction and can call for help in the case of an emergency. For instance, GrowMu can provide warning of a steep step that could cause a fall or can offer a new recipe suggestion.
“Adaptive learning and multi-objective decision-making algorithms work so the robot can learn from the user’s speech and behavior patterns and recognize when circumstances require action,” said Professor Jorge Dias, project coordinator.
Through facial recognition, the robot can remember a specific person’s needs and remind them of events or appointments.
All of GrowMu’s functions are linked to the cloud. The downloadable data that can be accessed include the user’s social care network, medication reminders, daily activity services and more.
One concern the researchers have is if seniors and technology are prepared to work together.
“We have definitely brought social robots closer to society, said Dias. “With intelligent dialogue, older people can effortlessly and intuitively interact with the system using natural speech.”
Dias said after a test run with the elderly and robot, the elderly had a lot of feedback to provide.
“They were not just ready,” said Dias. “They got involved and started making suggestions.”
The market of digital and robotic health is progressing, and they hope this robot can address some of the challenges elderly face at home.
“Robots are knocking on society’s door,” Dias said.